OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 29 points and established an early defensive tone against James Harden, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Houston Rockets 115-109 for a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Harden got hit in both eyes early but was able to return and finished with 29 points and seven rebounds on a night boos regularly greeted both him and Chris Paul at deafening Oracle Arena, where the Rockets complained after a 104-100 Game 1 defeat that the officials missed foul calls when the Warriors closed out on Houston’s 3-point shooters.
Harden scored seven straight Houston points during one stretch midway through the fourth, including a 3 at 7:25 that go the Rockets within 92-89. Stephen Curry connected for a key 3 at the 6:31 mark on the way to 20 points.
Klay Thompson scored 21 points and hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the third. Draymond Green had 15 points, 12 rebounds — three on the offensive end over two possessions in the opening quarter — and seven assists.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Khris Middleton made seven of Milwaukee’s 20 3-pointers, and the Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 123-102 to even their second-round playoff series at a game apiece.
Antetokounmpo bounced back from a sub-par performance in Game 1, repeatedly attacking the rim with powerful drives to the basket. He went 7 for 16 from the floor and 13 of 18 at the foul line.
Middleton finished with 28 points for Milwaukee, which went 20 for 47 from beyond the arc. Eric Bledsoe added 21 points and five assists.
The Bucks led by as many as 31 points after a closely played opening half. Game 3 is Friday night in Boston.
Marcus Morris paced Boston with 17 points. Jaylen Brown had 16, and Al Horford finished with 15.
PHOENIX (AP) — CC Sabathia became the 17th player in major league history and third left-hander to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, but was outpitched by Arizona ace Zack Greinke in the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 win over the New York Yankees.
Sabathia arrived in the desert needing three strikeouts to hit 3,000 and got them all in the third inning. The milestone whiff came when he got John Ryan Murphy swinging, sending the Yankees pouring out of the dugout. The crowd roared and continued cheering until the big left-hander tipped his cap before hugging his kids in the front row.
Sabathia became the first pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts since Atlanta’s John Smoltz in 2008, and joined Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only lefties to do it.
Greinke struck out seven and has 2,481 in his career to move past Jack Morris (2,478) for 38th all-time.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Longtime Los Angeles Angels media relations director Tim Mead has been appointed president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The 61-year-old Mead has spent 40 years working in baseball, all with the Angels. He has been their vice president of communications the past 22 years.
Mead becomes the seventh president in the 80-year history of the organization and will succeed Jeff Idelson, who announced in February he would retire after the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July.
In his most recent position with the Angels, Mead oversaw the team’s media relations, publicity and broadcasting operations. Before that, he served as Angels’ assistant general manager from 1994-97.
DENVER (AP) — Logan Couture scored three times, including the go-ahead goal with 7:10 remaining, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
Couture sent a shot over the shoulder of Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer just 65 seconds after Matt Nieto tied the score. Couture sealed it on an empty-net goal with 29.5 seconds remaining. Timo Meier also scored for the Sharks, who improved to 24-16 all-time in Game 3 of a series.
It’s been an exciting few days for Sharks center Gustav Nyquist, whose wife gave birth to a daughter Monday. He returned to the team before the game and recorded two assists.
Martin Jones stopped 25 shots.
Nathan MacKinnon had a short-handed goal and Nieto added another to help the Avalanche rebound from a 2-0 first-period deficit. Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves for Colorado, which snapped an eight-game home win streak.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky kept up his impressive postseason play, making 36 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Boone Jenner and Matt Duchene scored for the Blue Jackets, who won a second-round home game for first time in franchise history.
Game 4 is Thursday night.
Tuukka Rask had 32 saves for Boston. The Bruins’ only goal was a flukey one by Jake DeBrusk in the last minute of the second period, the only chink in an otherwise brilliant game by Bobrovsky, who is having the best postseason of his career thus far.
Bobrovsky withstood a flurry by Boston earlier in the second period, including an acrobatic save that saw him sweep away a puck from in front of the goal line. The Bruins pulled Rask with 2:11 left but couldn’t beat Bobrovsky with the 6-on-5 advantage.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge threw out former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s misdemeanor child-endangerment conviction less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to begin serving a jail sentence.
The decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, gave state prosecutors three months to retry Spanier under the state’s 1995 child endangerment law, the version in place in 2001.
Joe Grace, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said the decision was under review. Spanier’s defense lawyer, Sam Silver, declined to comment.
Mehalchick agreed with Spanier that he was improperly charged under a 2007 law for actions that occurred in 2001, when he was responding to a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy on campus.